tv Public Affairs CSPAN April 30, 2013 5:00pm-8:01pm EDT
actually any military operation tends to be more complicated than generally gets talked about in open sources because there are the things that have to occur. secondly, they tend to be more risky. and the third thing i would mention is we are kind of the victims of our own success. we have made the very difficult look very manageable for a very long time. so we do have to be a bit cautious about that. but to be effective, a no-fly zone would have to have several elements. you would have to knock down some of the integrated air defense system of an adversary. although steth technology exists, to have a no-fly zone, you simply don't penetrate it. you have to control it. t some point you would have to
defeat the integrated air defense system. any time we would put an airman over potentially hostile territory, you would have to have a search and rescue plan. so we would have to have the by and resources, either hostile actions or mechanical failure, that we would have the capability to extract them from that situation. you have to assume -- i shouldn't say you have to assume. i have to assume as the military member with responsibility for these kind of activities, that the potential adversary is not going to sit back and allow us to impose our will on them. they could take exception to the fact that we were imposing a no-fly zone and then act outside their borders with long-range rockets, missiles,
artery, and even asymmetric threats. so yes, you can establish a in no-fly zone, and you have to have personnel recovery. and in the region that bounds the zone, you had better have your readiness condition up in the event they would take action against the imposition of the no-fly zone. >> how long do you keep it in place? >> i could go back to operation northern watch and southern watch, and for about 10 years we kept the no-fly zone in place. it is indetermined. by the way, since you are talking about a particular country in that region, about 10% of the casualties that are being imposed on the syrian opposition are occurring through the use of air power. that is an estimate. it may be off by 2% or 3%. the other part is by direct
fire or artery. the question becomes if you eliminate one capability of a potential adversary, will you be inclined to be in a position to be asked to do more against the rest. none of these reasons are reasons not to take action, as i have said from the start, but they all should be considered before we take that first step. >> we are going next to stephanie, and then mark, eric, and others. >> general, thanks for being here. could you tell us a little more about what our troops are doing in jordan? i believe there are supposed to be 200 or so, if they are there, under way? has their tempo increased in the past weeks? do you plan to send more? and quickly, do you have anymore information on furloughs and specifically who will be exempted? >> sure. on our presence in jordan, i
guess probably six months or so ago we placed a forward headquarters in jordan to do some integrated planning with our partners on the defense of to the and that relates potential for rocket and missile attacks, so ballistic missile defense apparatus. we also wanted to have in place in jordan the communications architecture. we wanted to have a headquarters with, let's call it, the pipes in place for communications, sfwell enerals, -- sfwell generals, - intelligence, all the things necessary, all the satellite feeds, all the things that allows us to take advantage of
command and control. should there be a need, or a desire, or a request to provide support through humanitarian issues, that we would have the logistics piece of that in place, whether it is air field access. again, one of our true distinctive advantages as a military is mobility. so we wanted to do some mobility planning. you asked if their tempo has increased. as you know, we have been rotating people in and out. so as the new team comes in, they will tend to take a while to get up to speed. i would say the tempo probably has increased a bit given the heightened tensions that appear to be accruing around the alleged c.b.w. use. so yes, their tempo has increased. by the way, we have always got
-- besides that 200-man package, we do a lot of training with the jordanian armed forces. we do exercises with them. in fact, we have one of our major exercises with them coming up. so our tempo in jordan is fairly significance. [inaudible question] >> i did not check it today, but at any given time it is probably something between 1,000 and 1,500 given exercises, train, advise and assist and this 200-man headquarters. you asked about furloughs. first of all, it is heartwrenching to me that we are at a point where we have to furlough those civilian counterparts of ours who work just as hard as their uniformed counterparts, and who often sit next to each other in office spaces in the pentagon. i have said before that of the 800,000 or so that could be
affected, only about 16% of those are in the national capital region. these aren't a bunch of white collar guys out there waiting to be furloughed. these are men and women across america. secondly, we have been doing our best to avoid it. as you know, the secretary of defense announced that that from an initial target of 22 days, we have been able to reduce that because of the reprogram authority to about 14 days, and he has challenged us to keep looking. i don't know whether we are going to find the opportunity to avoid it entirely, but we would certainly like to do so. >> you think 14 is about the most squeeze you are going to get, or do you see it going down to about a week? >> i don't know, but i do know that the secretary has about on us to basis asked determine whether 14 is the
number. >> do you have a date when you have to make a decision? >> well, probably -- the date certain would probably coincide with his strategic choices management review, which comes due by about the end of may. , mr. chairman, in february leon panetta created, and you endorsed, the distinguished warfare medal. >> yeah. >> two weeks later a new secretary of defense comes in, and there is a big storm about it, and all of a sudden he has appointed you to rereview the notion of this new kind of medal. and two weeks ago with your endorsement he came out and basically said forget it, it is not a medal. it is a distinguishing device. so the whole issue of precedence even goes away. what happened? >> well, for one thing, i think as a first principle we have to
remember that the challenge that secretary panetta gave us was to recognize the contributions of those who may be remote from the battlefield but having significant impact on the battlefield. we stayed true to that principle. our initial swing at this if you will, to use a baseball metaphor, was that a separate medal would be preferable, and we had consensus among the joint chiefs in that regard. then we talked about precedence , and the precedence became kind of the third rail actually. when we realized that the discussion of precedence was kind of overwhelming the first principle which is look, we really need to recognize these guys and gals, we decided at the request of secretary hagel to look at could we remove this concern of precedence and still
recognize those who are serving around the globe but not necessarily in iraq, afghanistan or wherever. we found that the issue of a device that could be affixed to literally any medal now got us beyond the third rail of precedence. and so we decided that that was a better solution. we took input from the field, whether it was through veteran support organizations, but also did not believe it or not i have a persona in the blogosphere, and my persona in the blogosphere was getting beaten severely on this issue. so we realized that we either had a wrong or didn't roll it out correctly. either way we didn't want to lose the first principle, which is recognize these men and women. now in fy 14, we are going to have another complete review of medals and precedence, and it may come back up, but for now we think that the devi
provides a better answer. >> a couple of quick follow-ons. the reaction was so strong when it first came out, that suggests that you didn't go to the v.s.o.'s and others when you rolled it out initially. and secondly, if secretary panetta was in charge, would this have happened? >> we try to collaborate with them on things we know they have a deep interest in. clearly that collaboration didn't reach the level it probably could have, should have in this particular case. as far as secretary panetta, when this all started, when secretary hagel said we had better take another look at this,, i picked up the phone and called him, and so did secretary hagel. so he understood why we were doing what we were doing, and he supports it. >> eric. >> the same thing i did when i
was chief of staff of the army and thought it was time to put the parade back in the bag. the first call was to another general. >> thanks for this lunch. in its letter suggesting that syria had used small a little of chemical warfare, the administration said there was physiological evidence of this. can you talk about what physiological evidence that was d when did that become available to american officials? >> i can't add anything to what you have heard already. there are questions still being answered as far as chain of custody and so forth, but i have nothing to add. >> how recently did that piece of information overall come to the attention of the american government? >> of the american government? >> yes. >> i don't recall actually when
the intelligence became available. it was a couple of our european alleys -- allies who came upon it, but i don't have the chronology committed to memory. > all right. [inaudible question] >> i don't think we should put a no-flow zone over capital hill. i am against it. [laughter] >> you said the majority of what is affecting civilians is artery fire. i want your assessment of how would e a no-flow zone be. the country is pretty awash in weapons right now. the two things that law markakis are calling for now, what is your assessment of how effective they would be on the ground in syria? effective, we
could make them militarily effective. whether it would produce the kind of outcome that not only members of conscience -- congress, but all of us would desire, which is an end to the violence, a political reconciliation among the parties and a stable syria, that's the reason i have been cautious, is the right word, about the application of the military issuing power because it is not clear to me that it would produce that outcome. that said, options are ready. either if it becomes clear to me or if i am ordered to do so, we will act. but at this point that hasn't ccurred.
>> crossing a red line, whether it means in syria, iran or in north korea, does crossing a red line obligate a military response? >> first of all, you are asking the wrong guy. i don't set red lines. in the 21st century you can actually check that. i didn't set red lines on the budget. i don't set red lines on our military activities across the globe. i simply prepare for options when asked to produce them. so you are literally asking the wrong guy. >> two questions. a follow-on from your comments there. is it -- you said if it was important to engage militarily,
you would. >> yes. >> would you do that if you thought it wouldn't achieve -- >> would i follow orders? i think i would. >> so even if you thought the military option would achieve those broaders goals -- >> besides being the chairman and the military advisor to the sec-def and the president, i am a member of the national security council. so i do have the opportunity to express my personal judgments present.issues i do follow orders. >> you have talked about bad habits that have built up over the years with the nearly unlimited military budget. can you talk about what those bad habits are? an outsider sees a budget that
has doubled in the last decade, outside of a war. what has gone wrong where you find yourself in such a tight spot right now with a relatively small percent of your budget set aside? is it defense contractors? is it congress? is it the military leadership? what are the bad habits we need to get rid of? >> i have a few thoughts that are certainly not an all-inclusive list. but i think in our acquisition perhaps, i think there is certainly room to become more efficient. i think over the years our health care costs have exceeded expectations in a no pun intended unhealthy way. i think that infrastructure -- and these are places where we could use the help of the united states congress by the way. on infrastructure, we haven't
had to reduce the scope and scale of our infrastructure accounts. i think we will have to do so under the budget authorities hat we see coming our way. i think that even in operations there are times when we have probably over invested. we might be able to accomplish the task in different areas of the world with fewer resources if we force ourselves to think about how to do that. you mentioned contractors. i think our reliance upon contractors is excessive, and in particular in certain aspects of the use of contractors. so i think what you will see out of the secretary of
defense's strategy management places a look at the we have grown most and decide whether that growth is justified. i think we will find in many cases it is not all justified. >> back to afghanistan for a moment. i have spoken to multiple combat commanders who said the afghans' ability to medical medivac and care for their wounded already important after our draw-down. what do you think is going to happen when we pull the majority of our pilots and doctors out by the end of 2014. > first of all, i do think a casivac, and there
is an important difference. what we are trying to do is establish a casivac ability. it is a confidence building measure. we don't walk out of our forward operating base unless we have confidence there is somebody there to care for us and evac us to the next place. it is one of the reasons you have seen our increase in purchase of certain things, one of the reasons we are trying to establish field hospitals at key regional nodes around the country, as well as building up their own medical specialists. that is a key factor in how confident they will be, and with a little less than two years now to build it, the
assessments ivan my personal observations suggest we will be able to make it and have them in a position where they can do most of that, if not all of it, hemselves when they have to. to your point, one province is a great example for me. there is a large percentage of the violence in afghanistan normally occurs in a handful of districts and provinces. and those districts and provinces probably provide a impse of what is possible in the future. urban e provinces, villages and towns are generally under the control of afghan security forces. a lot of the space in between is contested. and i think that probably for the foreseeable future that
will be the case in some of these districts and provinces. the question will become can the central government through the afghan security forces, when it chooses to impose its will on that part of afghan that remains contested. the metric of successes, can the taliban raise a taliban flag over a particular district center, if that is the measure, we are going to be disappointed. but if the central government, having seen that flagrant raised, can reimpose itself on behalf of the central government of afghanistan, then i think we are probably on to something that is sustainable over time. but that is my observation from today, 20 months or so from the end of 2014. >> a follow up on the questions you were just asked. to what extent do you see the reports of the u.s. money going
to the karzai government as an impediment to what you are trying to accomplish there? the second question is i just came from the president's news conference, and he said he was looking back at a way to close gagne antawn mo. my question is to you. how do you imagine you might be able to help with the impediment if it is congress? can you help with that ndeavour on eric gagne >> the first was karzai and money. the d.o.d. generally controls he afghan security forces fund and the commander's emergency response program. so i won't speak about the money that other agencies might be dispensing in afghanistan. i think to answer your question
n sometimes our money create sure. ncies, that is why over time we have tried to dial back the afghan security forces and dial back afghan will take it over. you do have to be careful over me that you don't create dependencies. ou know my responsibilities on that area, that is what we will continue to do. i'm not sure i can help on
capital hill on the issue of whether it should stay open or closed. i'm sure i will be asked. but my mission is to secure it and provide a safe operating environment not only for the detainees, but for the soldiers that oversee them until such time it is not there. >> what do you mean you can't help? >> what would you like me to do? >> i am saying if congress is concerned about other options, you are saying you can't help persuade them there aren't other options? >> what i am suggesting is it is not my role to find other options. >> so you would wait for instructions to do that? >> as long as it is open, ideal secure it and provide a safe operating environment. that is all i can say about it. >> we have about 19 minutes eft. oward is next.
>> one said that iran also considers the use of chemical weapons a red line, perhaps implying that they might get involved, or more involved, in proven there was some use of chemical weapons. i'm wondering how does that change your calculation, or how does that affect your calculation of what measures you might recommend or what the u.s. might do if there is a hance of becoming embroiled or confronting the iranian military? >> well, first of all, i would like to see the iranian proclamation turned into something tangible, because as far as i can tell, iran's
nterest in syria is enshurge did not ensuring -- ensuring a safe package of arms into jimenez. i see no indication they are putting pressure on the syrian regime to act responsibly. i can't answer your question about have i considered confronting the iranian military inside of syria because we have not yet been asked to look at options to lace ourselves in syria. but i don't see any indication whatsoever that iran is putting pressure on syria to act responsibly. >> did the u.s. government receive a question or a preliminary request by the to an government in order
provide them with military droughns? and generally speaking, if such a request -- if you would get such a request, what kind of process would the u.s. government set in motion? >> i am afraid i missed the first part. if we got a request to to what? >> to be provided with military droughns by the u.s. government? > if the german government requested droughns, what would be my response? >> yes. >> i haven't seen that. there are plenty of nations that are considering , quisition of that technology and that will enter into all the systems of our government that determine whether we will provide any particular
technology as a combination of our relationship, our onfidence, end use monitoring. but i haven't heard of any particular requests on the part -- germans, and if that request were to come in, i would be asked my military advice and provide it. they are clearly one of our strongest allies, but i haven't had to deal with that. >> do you want the next question to be a long one so you can have a bite of cake? >> no. i don't lining long questions because they require long answers. >> the president has said that al qaeda has been decimated. is that your view from the military, not only looking at the afghan-pakistan region, but around the world? do you view that the al qaeda threat has been decimated?
>> my understanding of what the president said is that the al qaeda core has been decimated. the ideology or movement has clearly spread to the abbrederis peninsula, to the horn of africa, to north africa and west africa. the president has been very recognizes the al qaeda threat persists. but the al qaeda core, that is, ose responsible for the 9/11 attacks and those who provided hierarchy, they have been decimated. the challenge is recognizing, as these affiliates spring up, how many of them have local aspirations, how many have regional aspirations, and which one of them may have global aspirations. and then to address those primarily, principally and
preferably through partners so that we don't have to do what we have had to do in places like afghanistan. that is where the president is coming from, and i agree with that as a strategy. >> tom? >> i have a question for you that relates to sequestration. >> yes. >> you have mentioned how sequestration is interesting. do you have the ability to train to enforce the no-fly and nd the combat search rescue you alluded to? and if you do, are you doing it? >> it is a good question. as you know, we have invested in the readiness of those that are deployed, and we are very well postured in c erving n-com, in the pacific and in afghanistan. and we have maintained a global response force. think of that as the strategic reserve. if we were asked to do
something in syria, your question is do i have the capability and the capacity to do it? the answer is yes. i have also said in testimony that we would require supplemental funding. the issue would be i can certainly get what i need to do something immediately. but to sustain it over time would require additional funding. >> but are those skills perishable for maintaining a no-fly zone? >> yes, and yes. they are getting the training they need, and it is perishable. as you know, the air force in testimony recounted they have about 12 squadrons of aircraft that are right now grounded. so over time, and unless we get our budget house in order, and i mean us internally and also the government at large, i will be concerned about atrophying skills and reduced readiness. >> mccarron?
>> thank you. general, in the wake of things, in september there were a number of hearings in which state department officials and military officials testified and spoke about whether there would have been an opportunity to send some kind of assistance mission there. there was also testimony saying that plans were going to be made, that assessments were going to be made as to where response time could be improved for military assistance to those diplomatic installations under threat. can you tell us what plans have been made, what changes have been made or what the status of those assessments are? >> sure. ter the benghazi incident, the secretary approached me and asked if we could collaborate on a survey of diplomatic
facilities globally and to identify those that we considered more vulnerable. this is kind of in response -- i think you may have heard the phrase a new normal. the question was is there a new ormal in particular in north africa and west africa? but also taking a look at other parts of the world to see if we were more vulnerable than we had been in the past. as a result of that, i won't give you the exact numbers because they are classified, but we identified a number of diplomatic posts, consulates and embassies, where we thought it would be prude to increase ur mill -- prudent to increase our military presence. we are in the process of building that out to do that. some of that included hardening facilities. the state department is in the process of building that out as
well. now in the interim we looked at response time for fast teams, fleet, anti-terrorism support teams, commanders in extremist forces -- we have several quick response forces that are positioned in places in the med, in the gulf. and we looked at placing additional lift with those forces, which would increase their response time. and we looked at changing their alert status. there are two things to think about. one is the alert status. normally you think about it as an n-hour sequence. response time. to the extent we could, we increased the alert status. it has to be sustain able over time. some of this we dial up or dial back based on threat.
we increased response table to the greatest extent possible. two points we continue to make is that the limited mission in north africa and west africa is basing. we don't have bases this those places. and when you don't have bases there, it should be fairly obvious that it increases the response time because you are flying from places like bahrain or things like that. it is always the host preference to protect the diplomatic facilities, not ours. we can do that if we get a preemptive decision. if we get a warning, and the regional security officer from an embassy says we think we might need additional protection in here, we can get it in there. but it is very difficult, once
crisis is in situ if you will, it is very difficult to force your way into a sovereign nation over those distances and make a difference on the time lines you would need to make them. the key to this is a closer collaboration between departments and preemptive decision making. >> mr. bedard? >> have you and your assets be used in any way in the investigation. and thirdly, to raise new questions about russia, and what is going on in russia with terrorism? >> well, my thoughts and rayers go to those affected. our national guard were there initially to support the race itself and who took immediate action based on their training,
life-saving skills and so forth. we have provided anything that the federal bureau of investigation has asked for. i know the intel communities are very tightly aligned with the analysis of it. and that will continue to be the case. law is is very clearly enforcement in the lead with military capability in support, appropriately by the way. you asked about the russians. i have been out of the country for the last 10 days, so i actually don't know the degree to which we are in contact or in collaboration with the russians, although i am sure that we are. >> a follow up? i was going to mention -- [inaudible question] >> i know the d.o.d. intel community, the f.b.i.'s intel
arm and others have been closely collaborating. initially there was some talk about e.o.d., expert on demolitions, to make sure there was nothing else around the site. burr beyond that i'm not aware of any additional requests. but if we got them, we would provide them. >> over time are there worries bed, or nya is a hot becoming hot bed? >> i think chechnya has been a concern for some time actually. it certainly has been to the russians. this is a big if. if this is an indication of them exporting that to the united states, then certainly we would have to do the analysis necessary to understand it better than we probably have. but i will say the real issue
is it doesn't turn out to be hat and turns out to be self radicalization, then we have to look at internal actions. u may remember that in another case we applied far more resources to recruiting, to counterintelligence, to understanding the insider threat that could occur over time because of self radicalization over the internet. by the way, if the information weren't sitting on the interpret, this wouldn't be self initiated. so there is this, i think, global effort to take some of our more vulnerable notably muslim young men and women in a direction counter to our values. it bears increased interest, it
seems to me, in the aftermath of the boston tragedy. >> in the interests of having you come back sometime, we will end on time today. >> thank you. >> thank you for coming today. we appreciate it. >> it is great to see you all outside the pentagon. there is life outside the pentagon. >> nice having you here. >> thank you very much. >> appreciate it. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] >> like general dempsey, president obama also addressed the issue of syria in his news conference today, the 100th day of his second term in office. he said he is impressed with the bipartisan immigration proposal in the senate, and he outlined his plan for
immigration reform. by the e been impressed work that has been done by the gang of eight in the senate. the bill that they produced is not the bill that i would have written. there are elements of it that i would change. but i do think that it meets the basic criteria that i laid is rom the start, which we've got to have more effective border security, although it should build on the great improvements that have been made on border security over the last four to five years. we should make sure that we are cracking down on employers that are gaming the system. we should make the legal immigration system work more effectively so that the weights re not as burden some, the
bureaucracy is not as complicated, so that we can continue to attract the best and brightest from around the world to our shores in a legal fashion. and we want to make sure we have a pathway to citizenship that is tough, but allows people to earn over time their legal status here in this country. the senate bill meets those criteria. in some cases not in the ways that i would, but it meets those basic criteria, and i think it's a testament to the senators that were involved. they made some tough choices and made some tough compromises in order to hammer out that bill. now i haven't seen what members of the house are yet proposing. maybe they think they can answer some of those questions differently or better, and i
think we've got to be open-minded in seeing what they come up with. the bottom line is they have still got to meet those basic criteria. is it making the borders saver? is it dealing with employers d how they work with the government toss make sure that people are not being taken advantage of or taking advantage of the system? are we improving our legal immigration system, and are we creating a pathway for citizenship for the 11 million or so who you undocumented in this opportunity. criteria and hose slightly different than the senate bill, then we should be able to come up with an appropriate compromise. if it doesn't meet those criteria, i will not support such a bill. we will have to wait and see.
>> you can see all of the president's news conference tonight on crap at 8:00 eastern. we will follow that with phone calls. then at 9:00 tonight, supreme court justice clarence thomas. earlier he spoke with law tudents at duquesne, talking about how his political beliefs have evolved over his life. that is tonight on c-span. >> we know she was an invalid when she got to the white house, but people think she didn't participate very much. she was very involved. she had her own bedroom upstairs right across from the president's office. she was able to hear what was going on. she read daily newspapers, brought different points of view to the president, was able to calm him down constantly, and she was the grandmother of
the house, taking care of her granddaughters and children. >> that is more on c-span.org. tune in monday for our next program on first lady julia grant. >> today in washington, bloomberg news hosted a discussion on the u.s. budget deficit and the global economy. one of the speakers was pennsylvania governor tom corbin, talking about the issues facing the keystone state in a conversation with a bloomberg white house correspondent. >> thank you so much for joining us. this is a conversation on the state of the keystone state. so budget, pensions and energy. with the budget, you have proposed a $28.4 built budget back in february. it has to be passed by june 30,
but funding is contingent on passage of changes to the state's pension system. you have called this a pension crisis. put in perspective how deep the hole is? >> the hole is very deep, and it is not just in pennsylvania. if you look at illinois, california and other states, they are facing the same thing. in pennsylvania right now we $42 out $41 billion or billion under funded. i heard that out there. decisions that were made over the last 10 years of not funding enough, making some changes to the benefit of recipients to the two pension systems at the state level -- that would be the state employees and the teachers of pennsylvania -- and then changes in the formula, and then an underperforming market has caused the state system to be $42 billion under funded. we have to continue to put money into the pension system.
right now we are on pace to average about 62% all new the ue each year coming in general fund going into the budget. >> but some of these changes are not without controversy in se they affect changes benefits for current employees? >> they do. first off, and somebody back in pennsylvania is watching this, it does not affect any of the retirees at all. for current employees, it would not affect what they have accrued to date. there was a multiplier that was changed in 2001, and we want to change it back to what it was in 2001. when they changed it, they made t retroactive that if they came into service at 1981, they earned a benefit going forward. we don't want to take away what
they have earned, but we want to take it forward down by a half percent. it would be from 3% to 2.5%. that will be the subject of litigation. as we know, every time you make changes, there is going to be litigation under our constitution as to whether you can make a change like that. first off, it has to get through the legislature, so that will be an issue. we are looking at some of the provisions that new york state did, antispiking provisions when it comes to overtime that you can't raise through overtime what your salary was in the last three years. we are going to spread the period to look at the average for your pension to five years rather than three years. so there are some other changes in there that we feel would be constitutional also. >> some of the ratings agencies have also done analysis of the proposals, and they are still even threatening downgrades in the next couple of years. with the inue to work
legislature to see what kind of willingness we have in the legislature to make changes. i think there is. when i proposed that in february in my budget address, the room was quiet because it effects the legislature and the jew dish area. but when you look at the fact that 62% of all new revenue every year is going into pension increases. this year we have 1.6 of a $2.6 billion budget going into pension payments. by the year 16-17, it will be $4.3 billion going into the budget. the budget growing that fast. you can see it is going to continue to take more and more of the general fund budget. >> also, your plan calls for
getting the state out of the liquor business? >> the separate bill is to end the monopoly that the state presently has when it comes to selling wine and likor in pennsylvania. right now we control the wholesale and the retail portion of that. >> only two states left. >> us and utah. other states have variations to that, but ours are the most restrictive. previous governors attempted to get us out of the business. we have introduced legislation. it has passed the house, the first time it has ever passed the house. it's in the senate, and literally as we speak today, there are three hearings the senate is having on whether to do this. there are questions on whether it would be revenue neutral because we do take that money into the general fund in addition to the retail tax that we would get. but nip, we need to get
pennsylvania out of the business of selling wine and liquor. we have already privatized the beer industry for many years, and that is probably the biggest hang-up on this. there is union opposition from the clerks in the retail stores, but there is some opposition, and we are trying to teal with the opposition and meet the needs of the beer distributors where you have to buy a case of beer. we are archaic. if you want a six pack, you go to a bar. if you want a case, you have to go to a distributor. you are smiling saying we are crazy in pennsylvania. yes we are, and we are trying to fix it. >> would you be open to some type of hybrid deal where liquor stores are owned by the state, but private licenses to
sell wine and spirits? >> in fact, the bill that we have now that has gone over to the senate was not exactly the bill that i introduced, and it does call for a slow phase-out of having the liquor stores still exist but having wine and spirits go into the private sector also. then at a certain point, if those wine and spirits stores can't compete, we would close those stores. that is in the mitchell at the moment. the one thing i have learned as governor now is that whatever we introduce at the beginning is not nearly what comes out at the end. it goes through that sausage grinder for what laws are. so we will see. the goal is to have a bill on my desk by june 30. >> sticking with the budget, if the economy in pennsylvania is improving, the budgets has been
recovering over the last couple of years, how much of the higher education funding will you be able to restore? >> well, in fact this year we are flat lining the higher education funding. we had agreement from the state system of higher education. ii is 14 schools, division level schools across pennsylvania totally owned by the state. our state related are well penn peast, pitt, -- state, temple. they receive aid from the state. two years ago i reduced the budget almost $2 billion because we did not have the money and i was not going to increase taxes. we had taken stimulus money and put it in our budget, and that money stopped coming and wasn't
there. a lot of it went to education. right now 40% of the budget goes to education, k through 12 and higher ed. difficult times, but going into this budget cycle we talked with the state relateds about taking a flat line, getting exactly what they got last year, with the idea that they need to control their costs. we were observing that their costs continued to go up, especially with some of the universities, with dramatic effect. that is affecting children and parents out there funding higher education, and the children are going further and further in debt. the idea was let's control our spending rights now. education is not recession-proof. all the businesses and industries out there have gone through recessions, have had to down size and control their
spending. education should have to meet the same thing, but it seems to come to them later in the cycle. so they are going through that right now. i was very pleased that they took basically a freeze this year, and they are going to increase tuition and keep it i think within 3%. for them great goal to do. then we can try to grow out of it. >> one of the other issues you are facing is infrastructure and having to repair rhodes, bridges -- roads, bridges in pennsylvania. you signed the grover norquist no-tax pledge. to fund these projects, you of proposed removing a cap the gas tax. can you make the necessary repairs without violating that pledge? >> i made the pledge to the people of pennsylvania that i
wasn't going to raise taxes. we are reducing that gas tax at the pump by two cents. most of you in this room and watching probably understand that the gas tax at the pump is not getting the revenue it used to get because of the fuel efficiency of cars. if you go to the pump, and you were buying gas, and you were getting 20 miles to the gallon, and now you are getting 30 miles to the gallon, you are not buying as often. in the 1980's or 1990, we put a cap on the wholesale price of gas. that was at $1.25. now the wholesale price is clearly over $3. we are not getting that additional money, and we feel we just need to take the cap off. think about the free market. the wholesalers have had a pretty good deal having that
cap on there. they are seg it at a much higher price, but only paying tax to a certain point. we are going to see considerable additional revenue. our bill brings in there are 1.8 billion over five years. to akes a while to get up speed with building design and where you are going to go. > do you feel different by having signed that pledge? >> a lot of people say i couldn't have signed that pledge and do what we are doing. i am not raising taxes. we are taking a false cap off, and we will generate more revenue. that is how i am looking at it. if somebody wants to argue with me, they can argue with me. ut we are bringing in revenue. a senator has introduced a bill that is more aggressive and has a lot more in fees. going back to the legislature,
it is sort of like negotiating. i have come in at one point, they have come in at another point. all these pieces of legislation have different interests and supporters, including the legislation to take us out of the liquor and wine business, include the pension issue. they are all moving pieces after puzzle that i believe will be solved with the budget by june 30. >> let's turn to health care. earlier this month you met with the health and human services secretary about whether or not pennsylvania would take the medicade expansion under the president's affordable care act. are you any closer to making that decision? >> i have more information. i wouldn't say that we are any closer at this time. first off, i know that i believe in this, and i think many of the governors of the
states believe, that we want to provide quality affordable health care to the people of our states, and i want to do it for pennsylvania. but we have to show that it is sustainable, and that the tax payers frankly can afford it. i took a look at pennsylvania and what we are the second highest state for cap data in the country. -- per capita in the country. missouri is number one. one of the reasons we are so high is that over the years not only do we have mandatory payments that we have to include in medicaid, but we had opted into many of the optional rogue rounds. that raised our costs. right now in pennsylvania many people are on medicaid. if we were to accept the medicaid, it would be one in
four people in medicaid. i have seen how sustainable that is. my turn asring commoner, but the next few commenters there after -- not just during my term as governor, but the next few governors thereafter. we have a number of aspects. whenever we have all the information, we will make a decision. >> do you feel political pressure as a republican governor surrounded by other republican governors? >> every state is different. chris took it and he said it was only 100,000 more people, for us, i hear anywhere from 600,000 to 800,000. excuse me.
the other thing i'm looking at is a history of federal government continuing to keep their promises. one of the biggest problems in education is a federal government not funding special education. it is going down to 17%. right now this administration is saying they will cover the next three years and go to 90%. what happens when it goes to 80%? 60%? where is pennsylvania going to get it is to mark there is only one place to get it. that is through tax increases on the people and businesses in pennsylvania. we want to keep tax levels low. we are starting to see business increase. additional taxes would not be good. >> let's turn to energy. you have said that you want pennsylvania to be the texas of the natural yes. >> -- natural gas.
>> yes, i have. >> how? >> we have natural gas fields. there are three and i forgot the fourth at at the moment. we are the second-largest energy field in the world. we are the fifth fifth largest energy producer in the u.s. right now and climbing. our electricity prices continue to go down. many come to pennsylvania. we're doing everything we can to develop our energy industry in pennsylvania, including working with shell. >> i want to get to that in a second.
i also want to ask about the impact fee. costieve he said it would more than $400 million and for a few years. 2012 rot in less than -- brought in less then 2011. how can you be getting more revenues? we do biggest complaint not put a severance tax and other states do, we have to compare apples to apples. texas does not hate a corporate and income tax -- does not have a corporate and income tax. pennsylvania does. these industries have been paying the natural gas industry since 2009, i think. this would have been additional tax. if you look at texas, the suspended their severance tax. create anve done is
impact fee so 67% -- 63%, excuse me -- a fee on the drilling over a 10 year period goes back to the communities. it goes right back to the communities. it does not become part of the general fund budget. i think that is extremely important. it does not necessarily go back to where we need it in the community. it goes to other projects. we have to address that. those numbers are not final. it went down because the price of natural gas and on. we are seeing drilling starting to go back up. it is headingr, where we were last her. >> we have seen frakking really help communities with impact fee to the specifics you were alluding to. give us the bigger picture of the shell grant and how that
will help. >> at a micro level, some of the smaller towns in bradford county, pennsylvania has reduced their property taxes by 50%. money has returned to them. that is about as close as you can bring to the micro community. themoney can be used by counties and municipalities to fix their roads and schools under criminal court system. fire and safety and everything. it has really helped those communities. facility that shell was taking a look at building and western pennsylvania, it has the potential for jobs in the construction process. 10,000 construction jobs for five years. western pennsylvania, that will be a huge employer. to operate, 500
jobs. the plan industry will be looking to come to as a vain steelteel mills -- where mills used to be. we will not be shipping that natural gas out. exceeds me, we will not be inputting that natural gas from other countries. we will be saving consumers money. >> you're trying to rebuild. >> it will take 3, 4, 5 years to get there. >> governor, thank you. >> we have a couple of questions for the governor. as amoderate solvency -- -- this isolvency, such a political rail.
[laughter] it is not just police and firemen. ,he court system, the teachers 500 school districts in pennsylvania with teachers that are part of the system. over the long haul, we have a long way to go. the law made a commitment to that. we have to continue with that. one of the aspects that we are doing is saying that new 401kyees have to go to a style system. -- there iso that opposition to that. >> do worry about the pennsylvania's workforce to capitalize on aging workforce question mark -- workforce?
or will you largely be an energy expert at? >> we are starting to address that the workforce issue -- i had a workforce commission and post secondary education commission making recommendations. we are working with schools. 12, particularly high school. getting more people into the trade. we are also working with community colleges to create more technical degrees for people to work in these fields and factories and so forth. we are in that process right now. i think we will have the workforce. in the training of carpenters and plumbers and so forth, 25% of people -- 55 -- are 55 or older. they can get a trade and do it
better than anyone graduate from college. >> we have several more questions, but we will wrap it up so we can make room for our next panel. thank you for your time. >> thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] the presidentoon, will nominate tom wheeler to head the sec. -- fcc. we expect the nomination to be officially announced tomorrow. according to the ap, president in the acting chair wild tom wheeler waits for senate confirmation. tonight obama will get a news conference. that is tonight at 8:00.
we will follow that with your phone calls and comments. at nine of, supreme court justice clarence thomas spoke , talking aboutts race in america. that is at 9 p.m. eastern on c- span. president bill clinton spoke at georgetown university today. he reflected on his time in office and his postpresidential career. he president -- he graduated from georgetown. he was introduced by the school's president. [cheers and applause]
>> good morning. it is my pleasure merrill lynch to welcome you all here today -- it is my pleasure to welcome you all here today. this marks the beginning of a journey we will take together over the course of the coming years to learn from one of the most accomplished global leaders of our time and someone we are proud to call a son of georgetown. [cheers and applause] president clinton, it is an honor to welcome you back to the hilltop. we are grateful for your contributions to our community throughout the decades and for the extraordinary impact you have had throughout our nation and our world. i wish to welcome our
colleagues here from the clinton foundation and the clinton global initiative. i wish to welcome everyone .atching on our west -- webcast after president clinton delivers his lecture, he will take questions from both our students and students from the clinton school. a senior in our school of foreign service and past president of the georgetown university student association will join the president on stage to asking your questions. this is a historic day on our campus. we celebrate the inaugural lecture in a series we believe have a deep and meaningful impact not just within our community, but throughout the economy -- academy and global affairs. we are pillar village -- privileged to have one of the most local practitioners in our
time, a member of the georgetown family, international affairs major in the school of foreign service to his years as a road scholar in oxford and a law student at yale to his tenure as governor of arkansas to his eight years in the white house, and his extraordinary host theidency work through clinton global initiative, he has demonstrated unmatched political mind and ability to bring people together to forge real, tangible change, and to serve with extraordinary clarity and lasting solutions to our most pressing needs. during his presidency, he helped to reform the welfare system and strengthen environmental regulations, and turned a massive federal budget deficit into a surplus. he also helped to expand international end ethnicrvene to cleansing in bosnia, and to promote peace in ireland. he has brought,
together more than 150 heads of state, 20 nobel prize laureate, and many others to address some of our world's greatest challenges. the clinton global initiative, members have made more than 2300 commitments that have improved the lives of more than 400 million people in more than 180 countries. president clinton represents the very best of our tradition at georgetown, a tradition that is guided i our catholic and just of identity and he calls us to seek a deeper understanding of ourselves and of our world and to use that knowledge for the betterment of humankind. great forms for this work is a lecture series such as this one. in these forms, we look to m&a leaders and thinkers to distill their expenses and share their insights and lessons learned and vision for the future.
president clinton offered such a series of lectures here once before in 1991 as then governor of arkansas and as a candidate for president. he presented three new covenant speeches to students in gaston hall on responsibility on building the american community on economic change, and on american security. he has also returned here many more times by his presidency and post-presidency, speaking to our community about such topics as the responsibility of citizenships and the clinton economics of the 1990's. through this series we launch today, president clinton will continue the conversation he has had with us throughout the decades. he also continued the tradition of so many iconic members of our community who had shared the wisdom of their careers and their lives through defining courses and lectures. president clinton has recalled such icons
from his time as a student here. father joseph and his classes on world cultures. ulrich on the history of political thought. it was one of them who coined presidentence -- clinton called upon this idea in his acceptance speech for the democratic nomination. it is an idea that will serve as a guiding theme throughout his career. in 1993, he addressed members of the diplomatic corps from the steps come explaining that "that thataught him future could be better than the present and each of us has personal, moral responsibility to make it so." resident clinton has lived these words throughout his career. he joins us today. -- president clinton has lived
in these words throughout his career. he joins us today. we are deeply honored by his presence here today and his continued commitment to georgetown, our nation, and global family. ladies and gentlemen, it is my glitch to introduce to you president bill clinton -- it is my honor to introduce to you president bill clinton. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you very much. thank you very much. thank you for the walk down memory lane you gave me. i want to say thank you for
presenting your questions. i told her she could ask whatever she wanted. great thingthe about being a former president is you can say whatever you please. [laughter] the sad thing is that no one has to care anymore. [laughter] thank my friends who are here, and georgetown classmates, members of my ministration, people i have known for many years. sometimes in both categories. i'm delighted to be back here. the speeches i gave at setgetown in the late 1991 the stage for my presidential campaign and for what i would do if i got elected.
they were important not only for the campaign, but for me. it forced all of us who are trying to win that election to really think about where we were, where we wanted to go, how we were supposed to get there. tohought it might be helpful and this talkere is mainly directed to you. i understand you showed up at 4:30 p.m. to get a seat. i also hope you do not get pneumonia. [laughter] i'm honored that you took the trouble to come. you can see i have prepared this. i thought a lot about this. what i would like to do is to talk about organizing a life the public good.
whether as an elect an official or someone in private life want i haveublic good and given a lot of thought to this. i have had a lot of time to do it. i will be coming back to georgetown for my 45th reunion. --se 45 years past quickly pass quickly. that a whole set of chance circumstances brought me here today. applied to one college when i was in high school. i knew that i wanted to come here. i was not accepted until june. [laughter]
i think when i showed up -- as a matter of fact, the first what is aet said, southern baptist from arkansas with no foreign language except latin doing here? , we will just have to figure it out as we go along. [laughter] i knew i wanted to come here. madei was 16, i literally a decision that although there was no basis based on my family or circumstances, i wanted to go into politics. the typical route to that when i was a young man was to go to to a state university and make as many friends as you could and look for your chance. at that it was more important to be well prepared.
i felt that the world is getting smaller and that i needed to understand things that i could never learn if i never left the borders of my state. i had come to washington in the summer of 1963 with the american legion. . wanted to come back their service had the reputation of being the best and the most cosmopolitan undergraduate program in the city. i applied. i waited and waited and waited. they let me in. .'m very glad they did i'm glad i came. , ier i left georgetown spent five more years sort of
preparing to live my life. i went to oxford. i came back for law school at yell. -- yale. that is where i met hillary. i briefly taught for law school and start my political career. i was involved in politics for 27 years. after i left, i set up the clinton foundation and i have done that since. that was interesting to me the personlary was in our family who is always involved in foundation and in doing public good as a private citizen. legalg in the loop -- clinic when we were at yale.
organizing a group called arkansas advocates for families. that is still doing well today. 49th in per home, capita. she lived this stuff. she was on all kinds of other boards. when i was president, she got me to start meeting with civil society leaders. nongovernment organization leaders. in the in india and turkey and berries other countries and in latin america. -- i did that in india and turkey and various other countries and in latin america. i will never forget some time lefter ifter i --a fter
the white house, i thought to myself when looking there, my god. i had become an ngo. [laughter] i have thebecause opportunity to see the grassroots up how politics work .hrough dramatic exchanges the year i graduated from georgetown is one of the most tumultuous years since the end of world war ii. then i had the opportunity to start an attempt to build a nongovernmental organization thata very specific focus
works in many countries around the world. this whole thing has been extremely interesting to me. especially these last 12 years, i have had a good time. everyone asked me, don't you miss being president? i tell the truth. i do. when there is a problem that i think i know a lot about or some dilemma that i feel well-suited to solve, i think, i would like to do that. to spend onelish day of your life wishing you could do anything you can no longer do. our days are limited. these 45 years have passed quickly. it is always best to focus on what is at hand and what you can do. we can imagine or reimagine the task that you are involved with. i have really had a great time
doing this. i realize i am part of something much bigger. stories ofgood news the turn-of-the-century and early 21st century is the explosion of the nongovernmental movement. the u.s. has about one million .oundations of various sizes community foundations of to the gates foundation's -- up to the gates foundations. they do wonderful work. that does not count the 355,000 religious institutions all across our country of all faiths thatte -- try to do public good as part of their mission. half of those foundations have been established since 1995.
you see it in india. .alf one million active ngos there are a lot more registered that may or may not be activated depending on the financial means of the people who register. china has about a quarter of a million registered. probably at least that many more registered for fear of political reprisal of one kind of another. russia used to have -- but mr. putin seems to think they are a threat. in some ways, they are. .n ways that are positive themember thinking about freedom component of ngo movement. there was a whole areas cartoon that appeared in many -- there was a hilarious cartoon that appeared in many newspapers in america.
the middle of my second term, when i was in a long-running , in this cartoon i'm speaking to a political leader and say, you ought to allow more political liberty. you keep putting these people in jail. they would be out there speaking on the street corner. he said, yeah. jail- would be in our making tennis shoes. it was a cartoon, so it was really funny. [laughter] made me rethink our position on liberty. [laughter] i'm getting. -- kidding.
they have pushed the envelope of liberty and political responsiveness in a way that i think is very positive. of aboutd the benefit 40 years of experience in i haves and in ngos, reached the firm conclusion that 21st-century citizenship requires every thoughtful person to try to do some public good even if they are in private life. almost all came here half a century ago now, the definition of good citizenship was something like this -- you should stay in school as long as you can and do as well as you can. when you get out, help the world. if you have a student loan, repay it. you should try to do a good job
ifwhatever your work is and you start a family, and try to do a good job with that. raising children in society is as much important work. and beuld pay your taxes informed enough to cast an intelligent vote at election time. even then there were lots of people involved in public service as private citizens. united way andal people volunteering in their schools in wealthy people would give money to art institutions and things like that, but nothing like today. .t was viewed as the nice thing today was explosion of internet
giving, cell phone giving through tax -- texts. the tsunami disaster were the and thee $1 billion median contribution was $56 that people gave over the internet. in haiti after the earthquake, the american people gave $1 billion. the median contribution was $26 because so many people texted "haiti" and another number for the red cross and any other number -- the empowerment of technology has helped with the possibilities and more spots ability. -- responsibilities. whatever your politics and whatever you do with your life, 21st century citizenship some way of doing
public good as a private citizen. around the corner or around the world, in office or out. for theanted to do series of talks of which i think there will be more common is to talk about how to compose and live a life where service is important. i think that it is important isause the world interdependent. it is full of opportunities. sighted in aets constellation far outside our solar system. appeared to be far enough away from their sons and dense enough to support life. sun andtheir sin and --
dense enough to support life. i want to find out. we have constant new discoveries in particle physics in situ len,liding which are to been in texas, but i lost economic agreement. , which shouldand have been in texas, but i lost economic agreement. the human genome is stunning. n open ofa theyopments as soon as have them. they send to every cancer office
in the world, in every continent. the have discovered because of their ability to do genome testing the answered to a , and dangers form of childhood brain cancer -- and dangerous form of childhood brain cancer. the drug already approved by the cure rate.% it seemed to be causing the death of all the other kids. 25% of the people who have this condition. to doe they are able genomic testing, they found that in the cluster of kids that were not responding positively to the medicine, there was a difference. a different set of genomes. a must as an act of god, they decided to give the minority half a dose of the
approved medicine. they all got well. they thought they were giving everybody too much. they give cap does to the majority group and it did not help them. they had to have the whole dose. this apparently simple solution was made possible by the exploration of the billions of genomes in the human body. i spent $5 billion of your money to figure out the human genome. and now cost them $5,000 per person to do the test. it will soon be down to $3500. so it is an exciting time to be alive. what we all know the world is many challenges. too much inequality and instability. it is a terrible constraint on
growth and opportunity, investment. there are not enough jobs being created, not even for college graduates across the world. one of the reasons for the demonstrations of young people tahrirar square -- square was that the egyptian education system was producing dozens of college graduates. mexico under the recently departed president called her many caldiran, universities produced in a country appellation about -- .opulation 113,00 engineers stunning achievement. will there be enough jobs for them? there be enough
investments of the poor can find their path out of poverty? we have to do something about this. you want instant -- you want stability. if there's too much much instability and too much inequality, the whole ting star stood. -- thing starts to go down. the world we are living in is clearly in sustainable. blobae goebel warning, -- -- global warming. -- in years past it has been 50%.
oceans are becoming more acidic. there try and absorb more carbon -- trying to absorb more carbon. it is interrupting a lot of the fisheries -- fishes in the world. they are a source of protein for many people. they are caught more in this charms than in oceans and lakes. in oceans andthan lakes. as a result, we will have bad consequences, the details of which we do not know. andhe way that we consume produce energy and other local resources have with us on an unsustainable path for the
future. not sure how many views on that new york times article about how many chinese parents are desperate to find a way to leave china because their children are all getting as much and they are sick. how many have the money to do so and put their children in schools when their athletic fields are covered with tents and serious air filters so children can get for what passes for outdoor exercise? i could give you lots of other examples. the world has is too much in sustainability. in this modern world where we can look at planets hundreds of light years away, it might be my great-great-great-
grandchild home -- great- child's home, allowing all of us four physicals a year by stepping into canisters that will measure us up and down and find all melinda sees or they can be possibly big enough to -- they canies before possibly kill us. when to zap out tumors because all of us have cancerous cells in our body. it is an amazing time. are is tearing the world up the oldest divisions. the religious divisions.
the political divisions. yesterday we read there might be a new civil war in iraq because the sunnis rejected extremism of al qaeda in iraq and organizing ideology. old office they do not think the shiite majority had been fair to them. we read today this morning is of an ongoingory war with boca from -- a muslim organization that feels like it's people have not been fairly treated and the confederation, which is nigeria, and on and on. you know all of this. it is very interesting that in spite of all of this
globalization and opportunities and diversity i see in this crowd, we still see the world risk ifisk -- put at -- wereg brothers from given a chance to come here and get an education and it did not work out so well. you have the boston marathon incident. ayoung man tried to blow up car bomb in times square a couple of years ago. he and his wife both at university degrees in this country and were made to feel welcome. for a while they had good jobs and the home and the mortgage like many of us do when we start out. then it didn't work out. he decided an appropriate response was to learn how to
make a bomb and take it to times square. one of the things we have learned in the genome study is that all people are 99.5% the same. are the gender differences only a small percentage of the genome. we have people in this room today from all over the world. if you look around, every difference you can see between somebody else and yourself is rooting and one half of 1% of your genomic makeup. come evenone of us those of us who are apolitical, spend 99.5% whirring about the small percent of us that is different. we can all laugh about being taller, thinner, faster. i might've had a different life. [laughter]
that tiny bit of difference gave albert einstein a brain bigger .han most people he put it to pretty good use. i can give you lots of other examples. i was 99.5% the same as gandhi, but he had a pretty remarkable life that was different. most of the hand, truly great people who have ever lived taught us how to connect a little bit of us that is different with the part that we have in common. worlde going to live in a where you have to figure out how to reconcile all of these challenges with all of these opportunities.
i believe you will have no ,hoice but to do public service whether you are in private life or not. i think it will make a big difference. reason is that there is always a gap between what the private sector can produce and what the government can provide nongovernmental groups to try to fill. two, and the poorest countries, systems have to be built and reformed and more often than not they cannot be done entirely within. is to figureson out how to work with government and with the private sector to do things faster cheaper, better, break through the limit that the current arrangements imposed on people all over the world.
as well iff that tosible it is necessary think about what you are doing and have some idea. to take survey seriously when they went to be a political candidate or the person who does right, there are four requirements. you should be obsessively interested in people, session people who are different from you. -- especially people who are different from you. you should want to understand them and understand how they perceive the world. and how they perceive what their needs are and what their dreams are. care aboutould
principle. what is the purpose of service? what is the role of government? what is the role of ngos? how do you organize this in your mind? what are the policies? the ones that you believe will advance those? four, one of the politics -- what are the politics of the situation? how will you turn your good intentions into real changes? on a couple of people, purpose, policies, politics. ,- i want to talk about people purpose, policies, politics. most people get into real trouble and abuse power.
they forget that the purpose of the power is not to impose their will on others, but to let other people be empowered to live or as in lives better say, to have better stories. i want to start with that. , how in the world did you get elected president? [laughter] when i was born in arkansas during world war ii, i think was -- no onea in my direct family had ever been to college. my mother went to nursing school. my grandparents raised me until i was four with a lot of great
help from my uncle and his wife. about that like it was a disadvantage. it was actually the key to my later success. withoutot imagine life a cell phone and a computer. i was born to a different family without a television. without even a private telephone line. we were on what we called party lines. you heard about six? your neighbors could pick up the phone and listen to who you were chewing out. it was by conventional standards poor. it was deeply segregated. in both the black-and-white communities, families were more coherent up and down the economic spectrum than they are
today. there were more two-parent household and less divorce. characterore building, if you will, at home. i have employed at one time or another for members of the kearney family, an african- american family in a tiny town of a thousand in southeast arkansas. there were 19 of them. 17 kids and a mom and a dad. mother was a domestic and dad was a sharecropper. kids that college degrees. the other 4 did real well. had a first name the started with aa j. when i made chairman of the
public service commission in arkansas, he graduated from harvard law school. diarist in the white house. the attorney general office. kearneyas i got the family to vote for me, i cannot lose an election. [laughter] thathad a family reunion included a stop at the white house when i was there. 15 of the 17 kids were still alive. the dad was 102. i could givecause you lots of other examples that people are not defined just by their per capita income. ,here are incredibly powerful
dignified people who manage to compose a life out of their poverty. rum that we can learn how to help them and the children get out of poverty. this is to all over the world. whom i usedndfather to love to go stay with, the longest living man in my family, he lived to be 76, everyone since then, no one has made as long as i have. i would like to emulate my great-grandfather. house in then old country. a wooden house that was theinted and build on ground. you needed a storm cellar because it was attorney no caps off of america than. cellar because it was
the tornado capital of america background -- back then. , as was very good man my great-grandmother. i learned a lot from them. things that are still valuable to me today. most of the lessons i got from childhood i got from my grandfather and my great uncle. i grandfather in the great depression to give you an idea of how different then and now was, a lot of you might be worried about student loan debt and finding a job and all that, in the great oppression am a 25% of americans were out of work. i grandfather worked on an ice truck. refrigerators were called ice boxes. --y actually took ice walks blocks to keep the food cold.
carry theseher blocks of ice on his back -- my grandfather would carry these blocks of ice on his back. fast forward. 1976, i was running for attorney general of arkansas. i went back to the town where i was born. i saw this guy who was a judge. he could be active in politics. i have to be for you. why? during the digestion when i was 10, your grandfather who had no money himself still hired boys like me to write on that ice that ice truckn and would give us a quarter. without that was all the money in the world. the first time i got a and your
grandfather gave me a quarter, i asked if i could have two dimes and nickels i would feel richer walking home. i started shaking the coins home -- coins in my pocket. one of them fell out of his pocket and he looked for it for an hour and a half. never found. i always look for that dime when i go by that spot. [laughter] i say that because it is very important for you if you want to do this work to realize something i learned from my grandfather and from my uncle. everybody has some kind of story like that. my uncle had a six good education and 180 iq.
the smartest man in my family. -- sixth grade education and 180 iq. the smartest man in my family. people remembered the depression. they try to grow as much of their own food as they could. i started to farm with him. he was one of the funniest people i have ever seen. i would sit there with them and laughed until i cried listening to them talk about ordinary people in our town at the grocery store at the drugstore for someone at work at the factory where my aunt worked out. why am i telling you this? me all theple ask time, where did you learn to speak? i learned to speak by learning to listen. and our family, no one could
afford a vacation. there was one movie theater in our town that did not change movies very often. ,y family had hunting, fishing and dinner, meals. meals were a feast because people could tell stories. you could not tell a story unless you proved you could listen to one. andbody would tell a story my uncle or my aunt would look at me and say, did you understand that? i said, i think so. what did you hear? if you had something to tell, you could tell it. what i learned in the toll thing is that everybody has a story. thing is that everybody has a story. somethinghas
inherently interesting and a value to us even though most people cannot get it out because they are too self-conscious or shy or whatever. , in the beginning, i learned that you cannot really speak unless you cancannot realu can first listen. not in the way people can hear. i see it today when i see a lot of these verbal spats going on in washington. wherever it is coming from, as yourself, did this person say that thing to genuinely be heard by people who disagree with him or her? or did this person say that they in that way because wanted to be on television? or because they wanted to reassure their own crowd that they are carrying this year forward?
in a free society, if you want democracy to work, people have to be able to hear each other. whether someone can hear you depends in part on what you say, but maybe even more on how you say it. had firster you listened to them. i learned all these stories. nearly great uncle was 90, he could remember the names of hunting dogs he had had in 1930's, who sold him the dogs, and the way he bargained for them. springtimen, in the when the frost lifted. to me, i could have been listening to pop rossi -- paul friday saying. because of the way
he told a story. i am not trying to romanticize poverty. i would like everybody to get through it. that is not what i am trying to do. i am trying to get you to not the little people who know less than you do, have less than you do, less credentials than you are. there is a reason why the spent centuries serving the poor. there is a reason why all the scriptures of all the different faiths acknowledge that what we have in common in our soul is important. it tells me today when we try to help farmers in rwanda to have heard the stories of people who seem to be poor, but in fact were rich.
don't ever romanticize poverty. it is way overrated. denigrate the people who live in it. there is a mountain of evidence that there is a lot of dignity there. i saw those stories when i was young. older, i moved to a town that was the polar opposite of the one i was born in. the first land, set aside under andrew jackson as a natural reserve. thomas jefferson sent a friend of his there to look at the hot sulphur springs to see what the profits were because people were bathing in them since the 16th century when a man thought he discovered the fountain of youth.
a large number of people left and found their way to my little home town. there i was in the middle of arkansas with a darker -- dr. running a restaurant. communityek orthodox withtwo synagogues, muslims coming from syria and elsewhere. all in my little home town. i saw a microcosm of the world, even though i was living in the segregated south, with all its problems. still tryingtime to figure out what was going on. i still learned more from the stories of the kids i went to school with, the people i saw on the street, and my teachers.
i would like to give you a flavor of what it was like. i had a science teacher. i have told the story many times. it was the eighth grade. a retired coach. he was not a handsome man. [laughter] he was overweight and his clothes were too tight, he had thick glasses and smoke cheap cigars out of a plastic cigar holder. he had a beautiful wife who was a history teacher. my had a beautiful sister, geometry teacher. the family was there. they were terrific people.
the old science teacher said near the end of our course, i was 13. this was 63 years ago and i remember this like it was yesterday. he said, kids, you are not going to remember anything at taught you in science. remember anything else, you remember this. every morning, i get up and go into the bathroom with shaving cream on my face, shave, wash the shaving cream off, i look into the mirror, and i say, vernon, you are beautiful. [laughter] he said, you have got to remember that. everybody wants to believe they are beautiful. everybody. he said, if you remember that, it will keep you out of trouble and bring a lot of possibilities to your life. is what iater, that remember about my science class. [laughter]
my home town all those years ago, 50 years ago, i met the first person i knew was gay. he was a teacher. was unthinkable 50 years ago that he would come out. all of his students knew and we loved him. a practice hypocrisy in my home town about it that as long as you did not say it, it was an interesting thing. it started half a century of thinking about identity in a way i had never thought about it before. i came to georgetown, i was most influenced by the fact that for the first time in my life, i was around students from everywhere. places in america i
had never been, like new york. georgetown, i thought i was going to liberal georgetown, i would escape from arkansas. and there is a bumper sticker on my door for president. [laughter] i was for johnson. i cameought, oh my god, here for this? from long island, a friend whose .ather was an elected judge he thought it was too liberal. [laughter] fast forward, i lived with that guy for four years. i still talk to him all the time. i will see him at the reunion.
i haves good a person as ever met in my life. one day, his politics came to conform with his private life. through a set of family misfortunes, his wife's sister had a child with cerebral palsy that she could not raise. my friend and his wife took her in and raised her as their own. she lived a successful and independent life. when he was a pilot living in orange county california, their idea was to live in mexico and help poor people -- poor people. he called me one day when i was having my fight with the pre tea party tea party. when i was trying to decide to veto their budget, and everybody said, they will kill you if you do this. one night, this man, a book a mike -- i might have judged by
its cover, called me and said, let me get this straight. he said, i am an air line pilots with a good live it -- living. they want to give me a tax cut, in return for which they want to cut spending for disabled kids like my daughter. i said, that is it. he said, my daughter's best friend, who also has cerebral palsy, go to school together. her mother is a minimum wage worker who travels one hour a day to work and one hour a day home on public transportation. this bill, itd will cut the transportation necessities of the bus ride will be more excessive expensive. -- more expensive. withthat these children cerebral palsy had to get six
pairs of expensive shoes every year pierre they would take all the way to get me a tax cut? that is right. that is what will happen. he said, that is immoral and you cannot let it happen. you have to veto it. 's catholic values overcame his political upbringing. story overwhelmed the circumstances under which he lived. when i got elected president, i may have been the only democrat he ever voted for, but it was no longer the case. he saw a live child he had taken to raise who had a friend just like his daughter, except she had no money. he knew what would really
happen it was not a theoretical discussion. heart andpierced his changed his mind. i could give you lots of other stories. if father celebrated his 75th birthday and took me for a hamburger when i was a freshman and he asked me if i had ever thought about becoming a jesuit. [laughter] i asked him if i had to become a catholic first. [laughter] he said, what do you mean? i said, i am a southern baptist beard i am not eligible. he said, i read your test papers and it is not possible. you think like a catholic. we agreed it was only because of his overpowering skills as a professor that he reworked my mind.
i was was and i did not become a priest. i think life worked out pretty well for the both of us. [laughter] the jesuits for a reason that i do not know would even be popular today. they were to hunt gary and professors who had gone to the fourth grade together in a town in hungry. one taught international other topand the world religion to a class of 200 students for all non catholics took it. effectively called buddhism for baptist. [laughter] course, thef the father gave an oral exam in 12 languages. said, if you do not feel comfortable writing this exam, i will give you an oral. he started reading of the
languages he would give it in. i wouldt, you know, like to be educated in a tradition that uses that much of my brain. economics,taught five classis, 40 people each. you had to sit in an assigned seat and attendance was mandatory until thanksgiving. after which, you never had to come back and if you did, you could sit wherever you want. i am not making this story up. [laughter] fast forward, we are at the end of the second semester. i am walking down a hall with who of my classmates, niel, oversees people for my campaign later. he said, father, can i come see you? i am worried about the exam.
he said, what did you expect? he missed three glasses. missed three classes. he had memorized every student and developed a system which enabled him to tell which of the 200 were there and where they had been. i could not believe it. for a long time, i thought it was some sort of magic trick. 10 years later when i was governor, i came back to see the father. i was in his office. a woman called him who was a yield lot -- a year older than me and ask him for a job reference. he said, what is the job? send me the information and i will write you it. says,gs up the phone and do you remember her? she had an eighth the first
semester and bb-plus the second semester. no computers. he has got a card catalog stack with him. he goes down to her class and pulls out her card and showed it to me. thinked to be able to that well. there was a big movement at the end of my time at georgetown to liberalize the curriculum, which i think was done. my classrooms -- classmates and i, we did not have a single collective until the second semester of our junior year. electives. because of the influence of the professors, i was opposed to changing it, which made me about name it, with you my fellow classmates. [laughter]
a lifetime friend of the father. he lived in a little room after that ended his own research. when he died, i got a lovely letter from a young priest who found him who said he kept a role of letters from his former students and the letters i wrote to him when i was governor, and he sent them to me. of his me an account last days and the last picture taken of him in his vatican. -- in the vatican. i still have it. why am i telling you this? boys grew upthese theirecame the order, lives had different turns. one went to asia because he spoke all the different languages. the communist chinese did not like it that he was doing his
missionary work and they put him in a four by 4 foot hole and he lost a lot of stomach. he came out and he was anti- communist. he thought the vietnam war was a great deal and he knew i thought it was a terrible mistake. he looked at me one day and he said, because of all the fights on campus, we have these terrible disagreements but we will be friends. [laughter] i said, why? he said, because we have all the same enemies. [laughter] how weird is that? [laughter] why am i telling you this? wander through life, if you just pay attention, you would be amazed how many encounters like that you can have.
it can serve you well. the thing that bothers me about we haveolitics is that made all this progress, racism and sexism and homophobic as we used to be, and we just have one remaining bakery in america and we do not want to be -- bigotry in america, which is that we do not want to be around anyone who disagrees with us. people are organizing a massive living patterns in the country around dealing with somebody that agrees with them. readu do not believe me, something by bill bishop. in 1976, president carter and president forward had a close election. only 20% of americans voted for either one of them by more than 20 points. later, in 2004, when
john kerry and president bush had a close election, and bush's reelection was the narrowest margin of victory for a reelected president since woodrow wilson in 1916, nonetheless, 40% of america accounting voted for one or the other by more than 20%. so americans are not hearing enough stories from other people. it is a big mistake. if we had all the time in the world, i would keep you here until tomorrow morning telling you all the stories. oxford, i took myself all the way to russia, even though i did not speak russian. because i had a friend there, i wound up at a university which the soviets had built for third world students. inas with nigerian students
the first week of 1970 when their bloody civil war killed millions of people and did. -- ended. there were students there from both tribes whose families were fighting each other. over the radio, it had been announced the war had ended. i saw people crying in each other's arms whose families were back home killing each other. thetruck me that most of things we kill each other over are not worth it. whenever i asked myself, is this worth it, i think about those young people who were basically liked putting a test tube and pushed away from their country because they could still see and .ear each other as we go along and talk about
politics, i will tell more about what happened and what i learned through the stories. but i hope you will remember this. the purpose of service is to help other people, not to make you feel good about yourself, although you will, not to impose everything you think should be done on other people, but to create a world where we can all live together. it is so interdependent. if we do not, the consequences to our families and future will be adverse and severe. , peopleace in the world are trying to cooperate. they are doing pretty well. every place in the world, people elevate our differences over our common humanity. every place in the world where
we can no longer herar what people who are different from us are saying. where our ears are closed and our minds more closed, there is trouble. so, do i think it matters what policies you adopt and how you conduct politics in or out of the political of the net? i think all of that matters. much better a chance of living both a successful and rewarding life of findingif you begin by something to learn from everybody you run into. if you begin by believing there is a certain inherent dignity to never be onill television and will never be in
a newspaper article, are just a statistic to most people who talk about politics. i will close with one less story. story. when i was working on the tsunami with the first president bush, i got very attached to indonesia and the un asked me to stay on for two more years and i did. one of the ways that i disappointed people is that i could not immediately solve the housing problem, just like the problem in haiti and still people in the krajina area who do not have homes back again. it is always the hardest thing in any natural disaster. we were going to miss a deadline in indonesia in housing. i said, i have to tell them face-to-face. i want them to know we have not
forgotten to the -- forgot about them and that we will do this. we went to the biggest camp, and 15,000ere probably still people in the camp. every one of the camps had an elected president. i arrived at the camp. the president is there. his wife is there. was a simple man who trusted by other people to the president of the camp. his son was there. the boy, i still believe, is the single most beautiful child i have ever seen in my life. this indonesian boy. breathtaking. luminous. i asked my interpreter, who had been a very interesting young indonesian woman, who give up a promising career in television, just to be eight -- an
interpreter until things were put back together. as i meet the president and his wife, i said, i believe that is the best looking boy i ever saw in my life. he is just gorgeous. she said, yes, he is very beautiful. hadre the tsunami hit, he nine brothers and sisters and they are all gone. now here is what i observed. i never said a word. but pretty soon, the boy and his mother left and this man, who had lost nine of his 10 children, a man with no formal education, a man who had never been more than a few miles away from his home in his entire life, who led me through his camp, and every place, all he ever talked about was what the people they're needed. he knew them. he knew their stories.
he eased his own pain by advancing their lives. it was one of the most astonishing examples of service i have ever seen. then we get to the end of this tour. because they knew about my foundation's work in health care, they saved the clinic to last. all the sudden, the president of the camp's wife shows up again with her son. but she is holding a baby. talking and the interpreter says, what she is telling you is, they are very grateful you have come to the camp and listen to their concerns. and this is the news, this is the most recently born baby in this camp. we want you to name the baby. because we appreciate your coming. she went on to say that, in their culture, when a woman had
a baby, she got to go to bed for 40 days and not get out. i thought, if that gets out and america -- [laughter] that is why the mother did not come herself. she was in sheperiod o -- in her period of declining. i looked at the mother and said, do you have a word in your ."nguage for "new beginning i was afraid it might cause her to cry because she lost one -- her children. she got this huge smile on her face. she said, yes. it is lucky for you, in our language, unlike english, the name"dawn" it's a boy's and not a girl's name. we will name this boy dawn and
he will be the symbol of our new beginning. have you ever met anybody of any positions of importance at any level of wealth who could have dealt with the loss of nine of her 10 children with more dignity and honor and oriented ness? if you want to serve, you have to begin with stories. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you, president clinton, for your stories this morning. and urging us to listen by sharing some of those moving stories. we have a few questions from the audience here at georgetown and also back in little rock at your school. we will start with a question from a student at georgetown. sorry if i mispronounce any of your names. if you were a professor at georgetown, what class would you teach and why? an international economics and politics, because i believe it is very important that every person in your generation have a arld view, whether you are conservative, liberal, a republican, democrat, independent, or you come from aother country, we need
common understanding of what is the nature of the modern world, what are the biggest opportunities and biggest challenges, what evidence do we have about how best we can deal with them. that is what i would teach now. when i was in georgetown, i innk my favorite course was great ideas of the western taught by ah was palestinian professor. was a two-hour seminar once a week. there were 14 books. once a week, the student got a book it started off every week with a presentation by the student. if you talk more than 10 minutes, they would cut you off and say, you obviously did not understand the book, or you would have explained it in 10
minutes. if i were a professor, that is what i would teach. >> the second question is from little rock. from your school. am a first-year student at your school. i will be doing a service project in haiti this summer. recognizing your support of building haiti's economy, how would you defend against criticism that this approach benefits american interests more than haitian interests? ."condly, come visit me [laughter] i will answer your second question, i go once a month. i would be happy to see her. for him. -- or him. on the text will front, i disagree with that. decades, haiti had all these
jobs.l jobs -- textual a korean company, a huge is moving the first mill the company has ever had. they will have the capacity to produce their own clothing. they have never had it in the history of their country. they are doing it because haiti has a duty-free access to the united states and have a chance to do it. you cannot turn down the potential of 20,000 jobs if you can get it. and if you will make a living wage and environmentally safe way. i do not think this age the american economy any more than any other clothing imports do, and it is a big difference for have because now they will the potential to develop their own indigenous clothing
operation because this will be their first textile mill. >> the third question is from a georgetown student. which public policy instituted tenurea tender -- your are you most proud of? >> that is hard to answer. i love americorps, the national service program, and i think it should be bigger and more people should have a chance to do it. but i think that before the recession, health care reform did weigh more good than harm. there were things that congress insisted on that i thought were not good. welfarelem with the reform law is we capped payments they were gaining in
february of 1994. when they dropped 60% when i was president, states have it that -- had a lot of money, which they were supposed to put into education and training and other things. what happened is, after i left office, a lot of them were permitted to stop spending that money on poor people, which i think was a terrible mistake. i am still very proud we did it. i am most proud of the economic policy that we began with the passage of one vote by both houses of my economic plan in 1993 because that drove down interest rates and drove up investment, and celebrated -- accelerated new jobs and new technology. we had 30%antly, more jobs in my year, 30% more than in private -- president reagan's term, but we had 100 times as many people move from
poverty to middle class. it is the only time of shared prosperity we have had in the last 35 years. that and itroud of still means a lot to me. i still have people come up to me and tell me they worked their way from welfare into a good, solid job, and they raised their children to have a better life. that is still the most important thing to me. it has gotten surprisingly little notice and surprisingly little academic analysis. how come the economic path we chose and the paths chosen by my predecessors in both administrations, they had recessions until poverty increased. i do not count that. had 100 times as many people moved to poverty in the middle class. that is what i am proud of. we gave them a chance to make
their own stories. >> if you were to become an international economics professor at georgetown, would that be your research? your path of research contribution to academia? [laughter] because i know the story and i know i would not be trusted. i would rather have somebody else do it than have somebody else do it and does agree with them. i should not be too self-serving for me to do it. were here, i would be focused on what we would do to increase the level of employment growth the wrong world. one of the real problems we are driven growth. it has been a godsend. when we rebuild the industry in
indonesia, and we put all these men and women back in boats, we gave them cell phones for the first time. their incomes averaged a 30% increase. no one could lie to them anymore. rebuilding haiti and unbanked. 90% of haiti's income each year was from remittances from the nine states and canada and dominican republic and france. for the banks, you just charge a fee and you could put both currencies in the board and they do not want to worry about serving poor folks and making loans to little businesses. know, i would like to talk about things like that, how we started a small business loan there. we need the best minds we can to
think about how we are going to create more jobs. in spite of all of these in it, they make everybody so productive. you can do more with people. how are we going to find sustainable employment in poor countries, and in the rising countries? how're we going to do this? how are we going to make the adjustments for different cultures and different possibilities and different levels of natural resources? there is way too little research on that. when i got elected, i had been governor of a state which had had an en in -- unemployment rate less than the natural -- national average. we were 10 years on the economy.
the american people need some sense of how we're going to do this. so do people throughout the world. not have, we do not know enough to know how these new realities are different from what we did in the 1990's. if we did everything we did then, it would not produce the jobs we need. i have some ideas. on i think we should do more it. >> another question from a student here in georgetown. "during a time as president in 1996, you passed the immigration reform act. what do you think it will take to pass the comprehensive immigration reform? >> you have two opticals. will there be a filibuster in the senate? househe speaker of the
allow any bill that passes the senate to be voted on the house floor if the majority of the republicans are not? that has been their policy since newt gingrich was speaker. it was formalized. john boehner deserves a lot of credit. he allowed the house to vote on the violence against women act, which did pass by a bicep -- a big bipartisan majority, but not by a majority within the republican caucus. pass thehey will immigration reform. i would be surprised if it doesn't get 70 votes in the senate. the pure demographics 75% of the latino vote.
the numbers will only get bigger. the same thing is true of asians. we had a huge influx of asian immigrants. were of the vietnamese militantly anti-communist. they were inclined to vote republican because they perceived republicans were more anti-communist than the democrats and that the democrats had driven the country's disengagement from vietnam, even though president forward was in office when the last shoes were drawn. all have that -- all that has changed since the immigration business. now, the democrats get a big .ajority for sheer demographic reasons, i think we will get it. also, keep in mind there are economic imperatives here.
the united states, one of the things that gives us hope about our economy is that we are younger than europe. we are younger than japan. we are not resistant to immigrants historic plea. only ireland is younger than we are. thanks to the catholics, they have still got a high birthrate. [laughter] now that youway, are laughing, you should know that the irish were very open to immigration. there was a huge variety of immigrants. a lot of those folks when home mostly to central europe. they will come back again if things pick up again. this is an economic imperative for us. i do believe it will pass. it is possible depending on the
that there will be a majority of the republican house caucus for it and they will have to decide to let it come to the floor and all that. i really think this will pass. alsoe next question is from a georgetown student. what was your motivation for starting the clinton organization? withstarted the foundation a clear notion, but i did not have the details filled in. , i didwhen i left office not want to spend most of my about current political issues were talking
about my record and legacy. i wanted to spend time on issues i care a lot about as president where i can still have an impact. lot of things i cared about as president that had a relatively small impact, like peace between palestinians and israelis. i spent a fair amount of time in the middle east since i left office. i still keep a contact there and i do what i can. but that is more the province of governments as facilitators, but also what the leaders and people of those countries want to do. think,d be foolish, i for me to do one more of the theys saying, believe me, all know what i think about it. does not matter. i do not have a position anymore to have as much in that spirit in all these other things, i do. with that in mind.
then i began working with nelson when there was no global fund for aids and malaria. the united states was providing about 28% of all the money the world was spending to fight aids. we were trying to raise more money. from there, i got into being asked to do with the systematic ,hallenges facing the caribbean which then had the second fast growth rate of aids in the world next to africa. everything else fell into place after that. a few years later, i got whether one of my staff member suggested to me, we ought to have a meeting at the opening of the u.n. because people could come and meet with
the people who come from the u.n. and leaders in business. i said, who would pay from the during the u.n. when it has the worst traffic in the world already? said, we will make it even harder for them. when you come to our meeting, promised to help somebody somewhere and keep the promise if you want to come back. in the first meeting, we asked people to meet with people and make commitments. has worked out pretty well. it was a widely. ande things have come up then i took up child obesity because it is a public health problem in the country. chart these programs within the framework of my record and my passions as president. where i could still have an impact. and to have the discipline to try to stop doing things when i
thought i could have an impact and it turned out not to work. tocheek -- we keep trying measure foreign that and do that. >> final question is from another student at your school in little rock. it ties very nicely back into the theme of your talk today. the lastyou say remaining widespread bigotry is toward those with whom we have ideological differences. what can we do to bring people together?" interesting. i will never forget i had a very interesting encounter when i was attempting to change the pentagon policy of gays in the military 20 years ago. everybody knows we failed.
that is not important now. there was a survey that came out on this issue. said in the population of the united states as it existed in 1993, very different from now, much more diverse now in every way than we were then, the public was about evenly divided and i had pushed it to where in the survey, it was 48 to 45 for my position. on allowing people to serve without regard to sexual orientation. it was a political loser because the 45 who disagreed, 33 percent sign of them were intensely -- 33% of them were intensely opposed. the real politically vote -- political vote was 33 vs 64.
that was a problem my friends who are trying to pass the gun legislation are having. i do not agree with it anymore. i pass an assault weapons ban and it did just fine. -- expire ind to 1994. what happened in 1994 congressional elections, when people who were for what i did, the majority, said thank you very much, i think i will vote on something else. the people against it said, i will kill you. [laughter] i would not vote for you if your the last candid on earth. the fact that we had majority support did not amount to anything. it is the intensity of support you have to measure. people say, there is 90% support for this, how could they vote
against it? they all believe the opposition is more heated. i think they are wrong this time, by the way. cat that sitsth a on a hot stove is that that cat will never sit on a hot stove again, but it will never sit on a cold stove. i think this is a cold stove and we could do this. that is what the problem is, anyway. i did not answer. [laughter] you engage the opposition? [laughter] >> here is what i think you have to do. first of all, there are legitimate differences over gun
control. is basically an open deal. there is something you cannot reach. if you think you need protection in your home, you are way better off with a shotgun than an assault weapon. trust me. it is not even close. this is mostly a deal. member senator rakowski talking about in the far reaches of alaska, if somebody wants to sell a gun to their next-door neighbor, how could you possibly ask for a background checks? congress set this up this way so that rural states had this influence in the united states senate. i think they need to keep talking about it. i think they can do that. i think the president having the two dinners with the republican senators is a good thing. president meeting with the women's center is what they get
-- women senators was a good thing. dinners, one of these they did not seem to stilted because everybody had something they want to say to him, so it took the whole two hours they set aside for the dinner. after endless hours of listening to people, and finally digging and digging and digging, it does not always work. we are in thesons mess we are in in the middle east today is that i spent eight years listening and i proposed a peace proposal and israel said, and it was the most colossal political error of my s flowed and a lot ha out of the spirit one of the is hes we are still stuck
said he wanted settlement. so hillary and other people went out and got sediment for 10 months. was a big deal out of netanyahu's government. they would not talk to him. the 10 monthstil was over and he said, give me another 10 months and maybe i will talk to him. bad move. it does not always work. the second thing i want to tell you, if you get into politics, nothing lasts forever. it is a human creation. people come to me all the time and say, were you not sick that president bush took your economic policy and we went from a surplus to debt. i said, yes, it made me sick.
but the american people made it possible. i am constantly amazed when people vote and then they are surprised that the people they vote for do what they promised to do. it was not like he made a secret of what he was going to do. actually do try to do what they say they will do. it should be the basis for this kind of communication. i do not know how much these people are talking. it may not be possible. i know this. america has come back. san diego, the human beat -- the human genome center of america. cleveland, with all its trouble, the cleveland clinic and the community college are
training the hardest unemployed dropstion we have to two -- to do jobs the health-care industry. you look around the countries. the places where you are doing well and where there is critical operation. one of the problems in washington today is that the congressional districts are drawn so that the most liberal and the most conservative of our members in congress have to worry far more about being purer and being defeated by a primary challenge than losing the general election because they did not work with people from the other side to get things done. there is a political reality in a lot of these house districts and it is very different than the national political reality and the screaming hunter of the american people to see people s andhonorable compromise an
get the show on the road. you cannot get tired of listening. you have to keep getting after people and figure out where they are coming from and what their motives are and where their interests are. with all these peace deals i tried to work out, i never argued so much about what i thanht was right or wrong what i thought was in their interests to take it. there is no easy answer here. recipeengagement is a for failure. my view is, you just cannot get tired of just reaching out and going ahead with it. wonderful. two final words. please stay here until president clinton has parted. finally, help me in thanking president clinton in joining me today. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national
milestone, president obama marked his 100th day in office of his second term. he did so by holding a news conference. we will show that to you in just a minute. he covered a number of topics, including the investigation in boston, action in syria, sequestration talks, also talks about immigration reform on capitol hill. we will show that to you, and then at about 8:50 eastern we will follow with your phone calls, twitter comments, and facebook as well. question earlier today. we are asking a question about your thoughts on his first 100 days in office. we will look at some of those in just a bit. it to recap, the news conference is coming up next from the white house. we will follow that with your phone calls, your facebook comments, and your tweets.